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How to Become a Residence Hall resident

Freshmen students have four residence halls (dorms) to choose from (Heritage, Barnum, Ackerman and Landers), and the rooms in each vary. Most times students share with one or two other people; sometimes students have their own rooms. Students can choose their roommates if they want, or they can use Room Sync, an online tool that connects incoming students based on their preferences around study habits, sleep schedules and cleanliness. Of course, we invite you to stay on campus as an upperclassman, too; there are several residence halls and apartments at WOU that cater to non-freshmen.

Because freshmen students are required to live on campus (with limited exceptions), you and your family will need to fill out a

University Housing application after you are admitted to WOU. Similar to most institutions, the University Housing application, which costs $40, is available online after students have WOU Portal access.

WOU wants freshmen to start their college life with a good foundation, and that’s why WOU requires freshmen to live on campus. There are a lot of other great reasons, too.

Top 5 Reasons Living on Campus is Great for Students

Get better grades

Research shows that students who live on campus have a higher average GPA than the general student population. That’s likely because the library is close, residents miss fewer classes and students who want to study are paired with roommates who share the same priority.

Safety is top priority

Located across the street from the Campus Public Safety building, residence halls are extremely safe for students. Everyone has his or her own entry fob (electronic key), and a Campus Public Safety officer is always around if you need help. They’ll also walk with you back to the dorm from anywhere on campus late at night.

Everything is close

The dining hall, fitness center, library, classes, coffee shops, campus jobs and university center are just minutes from your residence hall room. What could be more convenient than that? And when you need to go a little farther afield, Wolf Ride can take you there. For student who bring cars to campus, parking is easy to find. And on-campus resources such

as the counseling center and other support offices are merely steps away.

Create a community

The friends you make when living in the residence halls will be friends for life. You’ll build relationships that will support you whenever you feel overwhelmed or homesick. Who knows, your college roommate might be the friend you turn to when you need a work reference or are looking for a job.

Athletics events

The residence halls are only a few steps from New P.E., McArthur Stadium, the softball and baseball fields and the soccer pitch. You can support your Wolves in all three seasons by filling the stands and cheering your teams. Plus, admission to games is FREE!

Definitions of University Housing terms

University Housing: The general use of this word means “the department for people who live on campus,” but it encompasses a lot of other elements. For example, Campus Dining is its own department, but students who live in University Housing facilities mainly lump the “food part” of resident life together with the housing part.

Campus Dining: The department that oversees all the food outlets on campus (Valsetz Dining Hall, Caffe Allegro, The Press, the Wolf Grill and Western Deli) as well as campus catering. Campus dining administers students’ meal plans and is one of the largest employers of students on campus.

Residence hall: University Housing offers lots of different living options, such as traditional “dorms,” apartments and family housing. The term “residence hall” is used as a general term for all of them, both for freshmen and upperclassmen.

Meal plan: There are five different meal plan options for on-campus student residents. They operate on a debit account that allows students to purchase any amount of food at any time during the day. Students choose their meal plan as part of their University Housing application.

Contract: WOU students who live in the residence halls sign a contract with university stating they will stay the whole year in the halls. It’s the university’s equivalent of an apartment lease. The contract can be canceled under certain circumstances.

Live-learn community: Residence halls where all the students are interested in a specific theme (outdoors, creative arts, global community) or academic interest (Criminal Justice, Business, Honors program).

Move-in Day: The Sunday in the fall right before New Student Week when residence hall students move into their rooms. It’s a well-orchestrated event that’s full of excitement.

R.A.: Resident Assistants are sophomores or upperclassmen who oversee students in their assigned residence halls. They prioritize safety for all students and facilitate regular informational sessions on various topics that are useful to residents.

You’ll find more details about University Housing on that department’s website. For now, we are going to move on to talking about jobs at WOU. Click on the Jobs on Campus link.